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Immune regulation in atherosclerosis and other cardio metabolic diseases

Our overall focus in is on cardiovascular disease and related metabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and fatty liver.

About the group

More specifically, atherosclerosis is a condition characterized by a chronic inflammatory phenotype, while myocardial infarction and stroke, the direct consequences of atherosclerosis, are acute inflammatory conditions.   

Our research group works at the intersection between molecular biology and biochemistry, and cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and endocrine medicine. The group uses a wide range of methods, ranging from analysis of blood and tissue samples from patients, to studies in genetically modified mice using advanced cell and molecular biology. 

The group consists of people with different backgrounds and includes doctors, nutritionists, biochemists, molecular biologists and engineers. This interdisciplinary competence is a great strength of our research group.

Long term goals

Despite state-of-the-art treatment, cardiovascular disease remains an important cause of death worldwide. Also, in Norway, CVD is a major cause of death, disability and loss of productive life years. It is estimated that by 2030 we will have 700 000 more people above the age of 70 in Norway, a doubling from 2018, with an estimated increased number of individuals suffering from acute cardiovascular events.

Through a translation research approach, at the cross-section between molecular biology and biochemistry, our ambitious goal is to build a foundation for the development of new diagnostic and treatment targets for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. 

By combining animal models, cell experiments and clinical material, we aim to identify novel targets which will result in improved health for this large patient group.


  • T-cell signaling in obesity and cardiometabolic disease

  • Cytokines and chemokines in atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease and stroke

  • DNA-repair in atherosclerosis and metabolic diseases

  • RNA-modifications in atherosclerosis 

  • Innate immunity and complement system in atherosclerosis

  • Epigenetics and epitranscriptomics in atherosclerosis and cardiometabolic diseases

  • Covid19 immunresopnse and cardiometabolic regulation



  • Lars Gullestad, UiO / OUS

  • Kjetil Taskén, UiO / OUS

  • Kåre Birkeland / Hanne Gulseth, UiO / OUS

  • Kirsten B. Holven, UiO / OUS

  • Arild Rustan, UiO

  • Thor Ueland, UiO / OUS

  • Prof. Tom Eirik Mollnes, OUS

  • Leiv Arne Rosseland, UiO / OUS

  • Terje Espevik, NTNU

  • Rolf Berge, UiB

  • Christopher Sivert Nielsen, FHI

  • Geir Øystein Andersen, OUS

  • Magnar Bjørås, NTNU

  • Ivar Sjaastad, OUS

  • Kåre-Olav Stensløkken, UiO

  • Rigmor Solberg, UiO

  • Harald Thidemann Johansen, UiO

  • Ingrun Alseth, OUS


  • Erik Biessen, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

  • Harry Björkbacka, Lund University, Sweden

  • Jan Boren, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Eicke Latz, Bonn University, Germany

  • Patrick Rensen, Leiden University, The Netherlands


Published June 24, 2021 3:35 PM - Last modified July 6, 2022 1:07 PM


Group Leader


Detailed list of participants